We all have our individual “likes” when it comes to walking holidays.
Some of us love the buzz of being around others, while for some the best thing about taking a walking holiday is the opportunity to enjoy a sense of calm solitude and of being disconnected from the wider world, with our interactions with others limited to meeting local people and engaging in the local way of life.
Even what these look like can differ wildly from person to person.
With that in mind, we’ve taken a look at a number of different walking destinations “for all seasons”. Whether you like to visit a pub at the end of a long day or retire to your own company in a tent in a remote location, it’s all catered for here, and sometimes are available in the same place!
Where should be next on your walking “where to go” list?
1. North Pennines, Northern England
England’s Pennine Hills – and specifically the Pennine Way – offers some of the most famous walking and sights in the United Kingdom.
While their “little brother” the North Pennines is a popular destination for walking for those local to the region, they’re criminally underrated when it comes to how many people visit from further afield and overseas.
One of the best things about the region is how unspoiled and natural it is. The nearby Lake District is beautiful but the fingerprints of its man-made, manufactured elements are easy to spot and can take away some of the charm of the location.
By contrast, the North Pennines’ spreading moorlands and valleys, with miles of rights of way for walkers, give a real feeling of being at one with the world and give you the opportunity to switch off and disconnect. When it’s time to kick back you have the choice of anything from wild camping to staying in one of the many local bed and breakfast establishments, while many of the local pubs offer rooms, too.
2. Black Forest, South West Germany
Germany’s Black Forest region offers something of a paradox as a travel destination.
It’s quaint, calm, and relaxing, while at the same time more often than not will be buzzing thanks to the presence of fellow travellers throughout the year. Although there are miles of tracks in the region that are shared access for walkers, bicycles, and even Segway scooters, you will also find plenty of quieter escapes where you can walk for miles and find nothing but other walkers. You’ll also have the choice of enjoying flatter walking routes or taking to one of the many mountainous trails the Black Forest has to offer.
As well as the beautiful walking location, there are plenty of sights to see, too. The Schauinsland mountain can be walked or alternatively you can take a lift to the top, and there’s a viewing tower and even a hotel on the mountain, too!
The Triberg Waterfalls are undoubtedly worth the walk, while the Mummelsee and Titisee lakes are both tranquil and calming.
Perhaps the best thing about a visit here is that you can combine the escapism of the mountains and the forest with a city break in Freiburg, which is a magnificent place to visit and spend a few days!
3. Australian Alps, South East Australia
While there are still people who can’t quite believe that it snows in Australia, many of us are just getting on with taking advantage of everything the Australian Alps has to offer.
Granted, this region would make any credible list of “countries you’d be surprised you can take a skiing trip to”, but we love it here in the summer when miles of walking and hiking trails and mountain passes become accessible on foot.
The most famous of these is actually named “The Australian Alps Walking Track”, and if you have a couple of months that you can afford to spend disconnected from the world, we would absolutely recommend doing the whole 655km walk from start to finish. If you need to take a shorter trip, then it’s easy to pick up and drop out at various parts of the track, while the region straddles a number of National Parks which themselves offer miles of walking as well as other activities.
4. Tianzi Mountain, Hunan Province, Southern China
During the Chinese winter, the temperatures around the Tianzi Mountain can drop to around 5°C, a lot of the café facilities are closed, and the local shuttle buses around the park don’t run as often as they do during the summer peak.
The winter is absolutely the best time to go there!
Yeah, you read that right. Tianzi Mountain and the whole surrounding region of the Zhangjiajie National Forest Park is much, much better in the quieter months. The mountains look haunting in the usual mist that appears following rainfall, and while you will still encounter others – plenty of people go there when it’s quiet with the same idea as us! – the experience in the winter vs the summer is like night and day.
The Tianzi Mountain formation is famous for inspiring a scene in the Avatar movie, too, and there’s even an Avatar theme park close by if you want to let your hair down if you’re there in the summer!
Where is Your “Walk for All Seasons”?
Where is your walk for all seasons? Would you gamble on the weather in England, find solitude in China, combine tranquillity with the buzz of the city in Germany, or take on over 650km of walking in Australia? Perhaps you’d do something completely different! Let us know where you’d go and your recommendations for a stunning place to walk around the world. If we haven’t already been you might just be helping us to inspire our next trip!
Adam Sherman is the co-founder of Viakix, an American footwear company built on a passion for recreation and a sporting lifestyle. Viakix was founded on the back of a desire to find and create attractive and fashionable outdoor footwear at an affordable price.